Missing Links

I realized after posting that last blog entry that the long hand written entry I've yet to type up contains two very important pieces of information, without which it may be very hard to understand what I'm talking about. The first is my explanation of the French grade system and the other is my story about the English test. The French grading system is very different from the american one. While in the US everything is put into percentage and then translated into letter grades, the French system is a fraction out of twenty. This seems straight forward enough, just pull out your calculator and translate the fraction to a percent so you can see where on the letter grade scale you fall, right? Nope, not all, the French fraction does not translate into a letter grade. In the US only an 18-20 would be an A, while a 16-17 is a B, etc. and no one wants lower than a B, while aiming for a low A. However here a 15-17 is considered very good, an 18 or above is really great and 10-14 is respectable, satisfactory, but a little on the low side. I have so far received a 14.5 in Math, which is fine for where I am, especially considering that 3/4 of the test were word problems, a 12 in French, a 11.5 in Biology, which I have to admit miffed me a little, but its all written explanation, and I didn't fully understand what some of the questions were asking and the teacher wrote that's correct next to the grade, which I took to mean thats where you should be considering your language abilities not to mention the class average was a 12. The first test I took was pure memorization and I got a 19 (score!) and then I took an economics test and went down with a spectacular 3.5/30 points, yes! I think that is universally agreed that a 3.5 out 30 is simply atrocious no matter what grading system you use. However, as I mentioned in the last blog entry I got a 10.5 on the next economics test which, very much pleased me. After I got the first test back I went to the teacher and asked her if there was a time I could meet with her and discuss my epic failure, but she just assured me it was normal for an exchange student, and not to worry, it would all get easier, so I'm not worried, and it has gotten easier.
The next missing link is my story about the English test, which took place last Saturday. I haven't been taking any English classes as the english teacher clearly doesn't like me, nor want me in his classes, and as I don't particularly care for him either, and I certainly don't need the lessons that's fine with me. However last Friday I ran into him and he asked me to come into school on Saturday morning and take his two hour English test to "evaluate my level in English," yes that's right, this French man who is too scared he'll make an error to let me sit in on his class, wants to evaluate my, an American, English level, what?! Well, I went because what else could I do, and because as my host mother said its best to give him the benefit of the doubt, perhaps there is some practical reason for having me take the test. I was still a bit peeved though, as if I'm not going to take his class I'm not going to take his tests either. And now he has given me a 16.5 out of 20, the nerve. Well I'm going to find him and point out his errors, to raise my grade and redeem my good name, (is it just me or am I being a bit melodramatic?) and I know I did miss some things, especially the section of translating sentences from English to French, but I know I deserve more points. There it is my story of the English teacher and his dreaded interrogation. I'm not taking another, and Isabelle will back me up on that one, as she told me she would, so its all over and done with now. Hopefully you will be able to make better sense of the last entry with this information,
a bientot


James said...

So are there two kinds of Chicken Curry sandwiches...one with mayo and one not? The onion thing sounds good...Food: the great comfort factor! Is it preferable to eat in the park? Not cold? Are there not tables in the boulangerie? As to that lout of an English teacher, when I get over there I'll teach him a few words in English he may not know! I'll fix his Bon-head!

E a la France said...

No there are three kinds of chicken sandwiches, one with a curry sauce, one with mayonnaise, and one called provencial which I haven't tried yet and I'm not quite sure what that involves exactly. No there are no table there is a large display case three windows a fridge with drinks and a cash register, behind which is the door to the back, between the fridge and the display case is a narrow space to stand in line, about enough space for two people to stand next to each other, thats it! People don't sit in Bakeries here, and bakeries don't sell coffee or anything like that.

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